Comeback Kids No More

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The Cal women's basketball team would rather not play Captain Comeback this year against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

The last time the Bears battled the Mustangs they came back from a 16-point deficit in the second half.

Cal faces off against Cal Poly tonight at

7 p.m. at Haas Pavillion, hoping for less of a nailbiting finish.

The Bears are coming prepared with the knowledge that the Mustangs will be ready to avenge the loss.

Cal will try to repair a more recent blemish-a 66-56 loss to Seton Hall Sunday.

"They need to be hungry after a loss and take it out on the next team," coach Caren Horstmeyer said.

Cal was hampered by a slow start against the Pirates and was never able to recover from a 10-point halftime deficit.

The Bears lost to Rutgers in the season opener 56-49, but defeated Syracuse 57-53.

"Playing the Big East schools was good preparation for them," Horstmeyer said. "It will prepare them for the athleticism they will encounter at the Pac-10 level."

Staff/Ian Buchanan

Cal will focus on the most immediate tasks-getting over its slow starts and maintaining a lead when the situation arises.

"I think the effort is there," Horstmeyer said. "But I don't know if we were really mentally focused for our last game."

Despite Cal's poor 29.5 percent shooting performance, center Timea Ivanyi led the team against Seton Hall with 12 points, and Leigh Gregory was right behind her with 11 points.

Ivanyi and Gregory lead the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game apiece, and make a dangerous duo when together on the floor.

Point guard Kristin Iwanaga provides a threat from the outside and recently led the team to victory against Syracuse with a career-high 20 points.

The sophomore has good memories of last year's dramatic win over the Mustangs, when Cal found itself down 53-69 with only 2:12 left in the game. The Bears pulled off a 18-0 run after Cal Poly went cold, hitting four three-pointers to snatch a 71-69 win.

Iwanaga, then playing in her second collegiate game, converted the three-point play to finally give the Bears the lead.

"You don't want to get down by that many," Horstmeyer said. "But the team showed a lot of heart and desire to give it their all and come back."

With the recent cohesiveness of the lineup, Horstmeyer is not changing the starters for the upcoming game. However, Horstmeyer will use the depth of the Bears' bench.

"I'm looking for the best way to make points and create the most shots," Horstmeyer said.

Cal Poly defeated its most recent opponent Sacramento State 60-49, handing the Hornets their 40th consecutive loss.

The Mustangs were led by sophmore guard Michelle Henke, who scored 15 points in the win.

"They have confidence from their win over Sac State yesterday," Horstmeyer said. "We know that their going to try to outhustle us and do the little things."


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